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Media Centre – IARC News

Sunbeds and UV Radiation

An IARC Working Group has classified UV-emitting tanning devices as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1). The Working Group was convened by the IARC Monographs programme and the conclusions are reported in an article and press release issued today by The Lancet Oncology .

Combined analysis of over 20 epidemiological studies shows that the risk of cutaneous melanoma is increased by 75% when the use of tanning devices starts before age 30. There is also sufficient evidence of an increased risk of ocular melanoma associated with the use of tanning devices. Studies in experimental animals support these conclusions and demonstrate that ultraviolet radiation (UVA, UVB, and UVC) is carcinogenic to humans.

These findings reinforce current recommendations by the World Health Organization to avoid sunlamps and tanning parlours and to protect yourself from overexposure to the sun.

Further information can be found in the 2006 report of an earlier IARC Working Group and from WHO’s website at